Number of Reviews: 4
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Strong story, weak interaction., December 1, 2020
Ulterior Spirits is a choice-based work created with Unity.
This entry uses graphics, sound, and a futuristic presentation to support a story on a space station populated by aliens and robots. A lot of background material is necessary to introduce the laws, life forms, and technology of this world, but smart design choices bring readers up to speed without being invasive.
While popup windows appear instantaneously to give more detail about races and technology, the story itself is revealed through individual paragraphs of timed text. I wish I could have experienced the main story at the same speed as the background reading.
I needed time to get invested in this entry's narrative, but that investment paid off. Nuanced characters with understandable motives acted out a story arc that ended in satisfying personal development. I enjoyed it as an immersive work of fiction supported by well-timed, illustrative artwork.
However, an immersive work of fiction is not the same as an interactive one. Some choices were obviously meaningless, only altering a single line in the next passage or responding with text that ignored the choice completely. Most passages ended with simple "click to continue" buttons.
Although I tried to make choices as a level-headed senior officer, I suspect that I would have seen similar outcomes from the wild and impulsive options. It was still enjoyable, and I'd recommend it to others.